Wilhelmina Smith's gentle, compulsively flowing and technically careful playing, brings out the expressive power of Norgard and Ruders / yle
yle's Kare Eskola.writes.....The popularity of contemporary Danish composers has been on the rise recently, and no wonder. Per Nörgård and the guys composed their avant-garde colorful and dynamic even when others were still teasing the audience with gray seriality. But can the virtues of the Danes come to the fore even when played with a single cello? Based on the record label Ondinen and cellist Wilhelmina Smith, the answer is yes.
Denmark's biggest cello star Smith plays Per Nörgård's three solo cellosons composed in the 50s, 80s and 90s, as well as the slightly younger Poul Ruders 'work Bravourstudien, which is from the 70s and is based on the medieval hit melody L'homme armé. Despite their dates of birth, the works sound fresh. The solo cello doesn't bring out the play of bright tonal colors and interfaces of clear textures that have charmed me in orchestral works by the same composers, but the music sounds understandable and melodic.
It is a thank you for Wilhelmina Smith's gentle, technically careful and compulsively flowing playing. Smith convinced me of his expressive power already with his previous Ondine recording, which included cello music by Saariaho and Salonen. He seems to play the cello music of his home country even more understandingly and tenderly.